Every Action Counts: Why Advocacy Matters
Every action counts when it comes to advocacy. But how can I get involved and why is it important? If we want a cure and change in migraine stigma, we all need to stand up and be counted. Advocacy increases awareness to initiate change. Every action counts because it gives those that are stigmatized a voice, educates, and reduces isolation and loneliness. By empowering migraine patients, their families, and caregivers to live full and productive lives, Miles for Migraine provides programs that increase public understanding and are advancing research, education, and treatment.
Every Action Counts
As someone living with chronic migraine, some days I take actions towards advocacy, and other days I take steps towards self-care. Miles for Migraine encourages you to do both. Every action counts towards yourself and your community. While Miles for Migraine is mostly known for its walk/run/relax events, they also provide opportunities to educate yourself and others, connect and support each other and raise money, all while creating acts of advocacy.
Find Support and Community
Miles for Migraine provides many ways, both in-person and virtually to connect.
Let’s start with Walk/Run/Relax events. Miles for Migraine holds walk/run/relax events throughout the country and all year long. In 2022, the plan is to host events in 24 cities offering virtual and in-person options. We HIGHLY encourage you to participate in one of these events and fundraise with a team. Donations go to local fellowship programs supporting headache specialists and their advocacy efforts. By donating and fundraising, you are supporting headache centers that will prove that every action counts. Every dollar goes towards increasing the quality of life for their patients.
Additionally, Miles for Migraine support groups connect you with other people with migraine who understand what you’re experiencing. You may feel isolated and shamed, as if no one understands but you aren’t alone. Our migraine community groups bring together people just like you to connect, discover and share. They provide helpful resources and supportive discussions to help you better navigate life with migraine and headache disorders. Register for free to join a group.
Learn more about navigating your migraine journey as a family through the Miles for Migraine family programs. They provide teen talks that are a weekly virtual group providing a safe, judgment-free space to discuss issues and challenges that many face. A parent-to-parent support group, 6-week parent education & support series, and youth and parent education events are all available for free with registration.
Educate yourself and others about Migraine and Headache Disorders
Migraine Education Days deliver lectures and experiential sessions, virtually, from the comfort of your own home. While we wish to provide in-person events, due to COVID restrictions, a variety of topics can be learned online throughout the year for FREE! Registration is required for each event and offers new learning opportunities. This education may empower you to ask your doctor more questions, consider your treatment plan, incorporate strategies and give the knowledge you may not have found otherwise.
To create more acts of advocacy, Miles for Migraine has created the ACT Now advocacy training program brought to you by the advocacy connection team (ACT). When considering how every action counts, that requires a concerted effort between patient-to-patient, patient-to-person without headache, provider-to-provider, provider, and patient to the payer, legislator, educator, business, and beyond. Each fellowship program with a Miles for Migraine city (receiving M4M donation for research and education) is asked to nominate a fellow to complete educational training sessions and complete advocacy acts that hopefully inspire future advocates. Additionally, patients and caretakers with leadership potential from a wide geographical distribution are asked to participate and grow migraine and headache disorder advocacy efforts.
Take Care of Yourself
Miles for Migraine strongly believes that self-care is an essential part of every treatment plan. By socializing, connecting with others, and feeling part of a community, a critical foundation for self-care is established. To strengthen this practice, the social series was created as another way to connect, virtually, in a fun way. There, you can experience cooking demonstrations, tea ceremonies, social mingling, and more.
The mindfulness series provides actions that may reduce stress – which is known to trigger attacks. These mindful practices can be done while moving or sitting all from the comfort of your home. This series offers mindfulness, yoga, tai chi, creative writing, and art therapy. Make mindfulness part of your practice. Every action counts! Registration for the entire social series is free but necessary.
Tell your advocacy story through our advocacy stories project. Many of us have our migraine and headache disorder story but what is your advocacy story? Every action counts so advocacy can be seen by wearing a t-shirt, joining an event, or talking to your doctor. Advocacy actions come in big and small packages and we want to hear about them.
Volunteers are always welcome! Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless. Without volunteers, programs like these wouldn’t be possible. There are many ways to volunteer and make every action count.
Whether you live with migraine, a headache disorder, or support someone who does, every action counts! Both in-person and virtual. Big fundraising and self-care. It all matters and it all takes steps forward to a better life for people living with migraine and headache disorders. Be a part of the change.
I suffered from migraines in silence for so many years at home, at work, afraid I would mess up others’ schedules or lives, be discriminated against or even lose my job. I felt bad about disrupting their activities so I pushed through and put up with the stress. That is what you did in the…
How did you get involved with Miles for Migraine? I saw the flyer for the Philadelphia Miles for Migraine race on the desk of my headache specialist. I was so excited that something like this existed for migraine disease. I went by myself to the race. It was a thrill to meet and talk to…